The University of Oxford has paused dosing children and teenagers in a small UK study of the Covid-19 vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca, pending more information about rare blood-clotting issues in adults who have received it.
The European Medicines Agency is currently reviewing reports of an extremely rare brain blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) after the AstraZeneca shots, and is expected to announce its findings tomorrow or on Thursday.
A senior official at Europe’s medicines regulator has said there is a clear “association” Covid-19 vaccine and CVST, though the direct cause of the clots is still unknown.
Oxford is waiting for more information from the UK’s drugs watchdog before giving any further vaccinations to children or teenagers in the pediatric trial, an Oxford spokesman confirmed to the Wall Street Journal.
Over the Easter weekend the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it received reports of 30 unusual blood clotting events among patients who have received the Astrazeneca jab, of which seven have died.
It is still unclear whether there is a causal link between the coronavirus vaccine made by the Anglo-Swedish firm and an increased risk of blood clots.
However, the MHRA insisted that the benefits of the jab continue to outweigh any potential risks.